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Lucky 7/11!

Gianna HeadshotBy Kim Rossi

Please join me in wishing my daughter Miss G a very happy 21st birthday! 7-11 is a lucky number in slot machines, isn't it? Or is that roulette? Or craps?  Ha ha - autism joke - craps!  

G has come so far in her development over the years. She is funny, happy, bright, attentive and yes, still very, very much affected (and hindered) by her autism.  That said, I am proud of her every single day. 

Because she is a July birthday girl, she has one more year in the school district before she "ages out" into adult programming. 

I used to be terrified of birthdays. Every "big one" made me so sad.  Now that I already have a 21 year old (M is 22) and all three girls have crossed sweet 16, I find myself less crushed on their birthdays and able to celebrate in their unique way. This is a survival tactic for me.  I need to live and laugh and enjoy the girls, even as I fight to bring them forward within and maybe in some ways withOUT of their autism.

I accept and adore my girls exactly where they are today. I don't love autism. I never have and I never will. Make no mistake - if I had a magic wand I would consider using a certain unforgivable curse on it! (That's for you Harry Potter fans.)  It will always be important to me to tell the world about the realities of having a child with autism - whether 1, 11 or 21 or 51.

We're having cake and ice cream and maybe a drop of Prosecco Italian sparkling wine.  Let's toast Gianna and all of her peers who are turning 21 this year.

Happy birthday, Miss G.

Love, Mom



Happy Birthday Gianna!

Dan E. Burns

Hey Gianna. Lovely photo. Happy Birthday!


and, she is adorable!

Anne McElroy Dachel

Miss grow lovelier each year!

John Stone

Happy Birthday Gianna!

Jeannette Bishop

Best wishes for a wonderful celebration of your birthday, Gianna, and a wonderful year to come!

susan welch

Wishing you a very happy birthday Miss G - from the UK.

Teresa  Conrick -To Amy

Happy Birthday, Gianna! I am sure your mom and sisters will be celebrating with you! All our love from Chicago --- Teresa, Megan and Mary

Michele I.

Happy Birthday beautiful Miss G! xxoo


Best wishes for a wonderful birthday, Gianna! You are growing into being a beautiful young woman.
Wishing you and your other lovely girls a wonderful day, too, Kim!


Happy Birthday Gianna!! Wishing you all the very best on your birthday and in the year to come!

Donna L.

Wishing the happiest of birthdays to the beautiful Miss G!
Over a decade's worth of photos posted here, it's still striking to me how her personality nearly leaps off the page, each and every time. Now *that* is worth celebrating! :)

Richard P. Milner

Happy Birthday Miss G!

Angus Files

Happy Birthday G I hope you have a good one and I am sure you will.

Gary Ogden

Happy birthday from me, Miss G! You're so lucky to have a totally cool mom, but you know this already.

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